grand plan injuries galore yes,

grand plan

injuries galore
yes, thanksgiving is at hand
beware of kitchen

I bought a tart pan for my Thanksgiving feast. I’ve never had a tart pan before… whenever I’ve attempted to make a tart I just use a pie pan. But since this is the first time the hubby and I will be hosting Thanksgiving at our house we decided that any tart we make should be a real tart and not just a cream-filled fake pie. So I have a tart pan. It’s basically a fluted circle with a removable bottom. That way you can just magically lift the tart away from the edges and place it on the table. Or at least that’s the gist of it, I think.

My new tart pan isn’t very fancy – just a nice mid-shelf Wilton. Of course, buying a nice mid-shelf Wilton also means buying a tart pan covered in glued-on cardboard signage (MAN I hate the word “signage” It makes the baby Jesus cry).

I got the tart pan home and immediately began yanking off the offending cardboard, but the glue stuff has been seriously strengthened or something, because I had to use all of my brute stremf to rip that bastard cardboard off. With one final heave I managed to remove the advertising – but in the process I banged the back of my hand against the sharp edge of the tart fluting.

Cut myself.

On the damn tart pan.

Required neosporin and one of those funny butterfly band-aids shaped specifically for back of the hand knuckles. As my history in the kitchen is one of injury and pain, this whole injuring myself with a tart pan was not really a surprise. But it probably doesn’t bode well for the chocolate pecan tart I’ve been planning.

I’ll keep you updated. And if I lose an arm or a finger, just know I sacrificed it for the sake of quality holiday tasty treats.

nerd alert love the theory

nerd alert

love the theory
behind these wordy pictures
want to join seth’s club

I learned to fly last night. And I learned why bleeding in the gutters can be good.

No, this is not a morality tale about drugs, or an exaltation about shooting people. It’s about comic books!

Frankly, though, I’ve never really been interested in comic books. When I was a kid I might have picked up some Donald Duck thing or maybe something about Wonder Woman, but that was about it. I’d flip through it, find it totally boring, and return to my Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume or Lois Lowry with a sigh of relief.

I’ve been hearing a lot about comics lately – or graphic novels, if you will – and I thought maybe I should take a peek at them. Not out of a desire to be part of a cool crowd (when have graphic novel readers ever been a cool crowd?) but out of a desire to prove to myself that anything involving art (my major in college was art history) and writing (well, duh, you know I like that stuff) should be something near and dear to my heart. So I casually mentioned Maus to my brother-in-law the other day. He’s a comic book reading guy so he let me borrow Maus and it’s sequel. They sat on my counter for a few days and I finally picked up a copy and started to read. It wasn’t love at first sight, but as I started to get into the rhythm of the story I enjoyed the nuances that make graphic novels unique.

I enjoyed the staccato nature of moving from frame to frame. I enjoyed that even on a page with eight or more frames, each frame could stand alone as its own piece of art or story. I enjoyed being dragged along, or slowed down by the pacing – being lead around by these invisible fingers carrying me along without any effort on my part at all.

It was still hard for me to read, though. I didn’t know how to coincide the words with the art. Do you take a quick glance at the picture, then read the captions? Do you read the captions, then use the pictures as a guide? I felt awkward. So I stopped reading for a few days.

After a chat with my brother-in-law, though, about what I liked about Maus, he suggested another graphic novel – this one basically a comic book about comic books. It’s kind of an art history text combined with an art theory text, combined with a history of comics, combined with a dictionary (both of imagery and words). It also gives you the ground rules of comics – how line and shape and frame size and “gutters” are used to engage and manipulate the reader. The book juxtaposes Japanese comics with Western comics and explains how both use completely different techniques that are based on very similar philosophies. Simply enough, it’s called Understanding Comics.

It.
Is.
Fascinating.

It reminds me of a college course that I would have never elected to take on my own, but would have taken because a) all the other classes were full b) my boyfriend was in it or c) I was in love with the professor. Once in the class I would have been shocked by how interesting it was and how much I enjoyed the topic.

I feel a little swept away by comics right now. A little sad that it’s taken me this long to discover them, and a little excited that I finally have. I am so ready to take an essay test on why they’re cool.

You want me to explain what the first two sentences of this post mean? (Unless you already know, which you might, because I’m new to this and I don’t know how many people there are out there who actually know all the graphic novel terms. Maybe everyone except me. If that’s the case, bear with me here, I’m excited.)

Learning to fly… well, the spaces between the frames in comics are called gutters. And when you read from frame to frame you fly over the gutters. Your brain fills in time and space and action so that moving from frame to frame makes sense. None of what I just said probably makes any sense, but to me, right at this very moment, it sounds just fine.

Bleeding in gutters… this is something that was started in Japanese comics. It’s when a frame doesn’t have four sides and the art bleeds into the end of the page (or maybe the next frame? I’m not sure about that). So, by bleeding to the end of the pages, it bleeds in the gutter so to speak. It’s a great way to express time.

Keep in mind, these are new ideas to me, and I may be simplifying and/or mangling them. But they still seem pretty cool, don’t they?

When I was younger, it would have killed me to study the “science” behind something before jumping into it headlong to discover it for myself. So this is a kind of heresy to my immaturity, reading about how to understand comics before actually reading any of them. But having a background (however incomplete and theoretical) makes the prospect of finishing Maus truly exciting. And I’ve borrowed Batman and the Watchmen. We’ll see how it goes. Right now I’m in love with the theory. I’m in love with the marriage of art and language – at least the idea of it. I hope it translates to loving the comics, too. You never know, though. I’m fascinated by the theory behind dadaism, but there are only so many times you can stare at a urinal and sigh about it being great art.

That’s a whole different post, though, isn’t it?

nipply jack frost gives a

nipply

jack frost gives a blow
body responds; high alert
guess who’s freezing cold?

It’s cold today. Well, it’s like 56. For central Texas, that’s pretty damn cold. And it’s windy, so it feels even colder. Cold never used to be a problem for me. Just the idea of a hard freeze was enough to send me into blissful hypothermia. Now, though, I’m really starting to hate the cold. Not that I love sweltering in 110 degree heat in the summer, either, but I’m beginning to think that I might prefer the warmth to the cold.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is nipples. Nature’s thermometers. For years, decades, even, I never gave my own personal thermometers a second thought. They were just so tiny that they weren’t worth bothering myself about. I mean, who notices mosquito bites?

Then, I got pregnant. Suddenly, the former mosquito bites took on a disturbing and unruly form. Over nine months it was like watching skyscrapers rise from a construction area. Seriously, I’m surprised they didn’t have their own scaffolding. Even so, I still didn’t really pay any attention. They were sort of a novelty, but it wasn’t anything that traumatized me. Until one fateful day at work…

The place I worked was, up until the Fateful Day, a pretty cool place. Very family friendly… I could even bring my dog to work. I was fairly concerned with keeping up a professional appearance while my body expanded at an unnatural pace, so I spent a quadzillion dollars on trendy maternity clothes at Japanese Weekend Maternity. These were the nicest clothes I’ve ever had. The most expensive, the most comfortable… I felt like a movie star.

Apparently I looked like one, too (or a pregnant hooker or something). Because one day, out of the blue, I was called into the HR lady’s office. She told me that the Big Big Boss (the owner of the company) was disturbed with my clothes and thought they were inappropriate for the workplace. I was flabbergasted. My expensive clothes inappropriate? How could that be? They were no more or less fashionable than the clothes the non-pregnant ladies wore to the office. They were kind of form-fitting, but it’s hard for clothes to NOT be form-fitting when you’re 8 months pregnant.

Once the discussion with HR lady progressed, though, I found out the real reason behind the inappropriateness of my clothing. They showed off my newly formed, enormous thermometers. While the HR lady was trying to explain to me how my maternity clothes were inappropriate she lowered her voice, leaned across the table and said, “For instance… I can see your nipples right now.” I looked down, and sure enough, there they were. But how was that MY fault? If I had been wearing a burlap sack you would have been able to see those monstrosities.

I told her I couldn’t help that my body was getting fat. That’s kind of what being pregnant is all about. She told me I had to get some new clothes and a letter was being put into my employee file. I was stunned. An 8 months pregnant woman would never EVER try to dress provocatively at work. Were these people INSANE? I just couldn’t understand – still can’t, really – what the problem was. But there was nothing I could do. I had to forsake my gazillion dollars worth of trendy clothes and suck it up, go to Sears and buy a couple of gingham and flowery tent-like horrors.

And the thing is… when this whole pregnant lady humiliation smackdown occurred, it wasn’t even wintertime. It was April. In central Texas, April means 85 degrees. Can you imagine what the Big Big Boss would have done to me if I’d been pregnant in, say, February?

Anyway, the nipple story ends with me being put on bedrest and having to start my maternity leave 5 weeks early. I had high-blood pressure and early signs of labor. Apparently stress can cause the high-blood pressure and nipple stimulation can cause early labor. I guess I was screwed from the beginning. Ha.

Needless to say, I don’t work there anymore (even though, other than the Nipple Incident, they were very nice to me, and let me bring the wee one to work with me for the first 7 months of his life). I still freelance for them occasionally and all is forgotten nipple-wise. Well, not really. As you can see, I still harbor a bit of resentment. But maybe I should be proud. How many pregnant women’s nipples get them a warning letter in their employee file? Quite an accomplishment.

So it’s cold outside today, and I was reminded of this story because my once gargantuan thermometers are now shrinking back to normal size. It’s kind of a pity, though. I was getting used to them.

bursting feet turned out like

bursting

feet turned out like pro
arms akimbo, that’s OK
first position nailed

I almost wept (weeped?) at dance class today, and finally, not because of something stupid or embarrassing I did (scroll down to 10/20 post for gory details).

Today, the wee one performed the perfect first position. He even remembered to turn out his feet. I thought the dance teacher might weep, too. It was all very exciting. I know that those of you without kids are reading this and thinking that I’m insane. Possibly, those of you WITH kids still think I’m insane. But it was quite a momentous occasion. Out of the 5 2-year-olds in his dance class – the wee one was the only one to just nail it.

I’m so proud of him.

why does it have to

why does it have to say “puncture”

shouldn’t be so bad
imitating Hellraiser
if it feels OK

I’m thinking more and more about this acupuncture stuff. My knowledge is purely limited to whatever I’ve seen on TV or in movies, so I firmly expect to either be seduced by the acupunctuist, die of a communicable disease after being “punctured,” or find my session interrupted by an on foot police chase involving a white cop, his wiseacre black partner, and an asian crime boss involved in a drug/counterfeiting/people smuggling ring.

Sounds more exciting than an afternoon of Blue’s Clues, though, so I’m in.

Anybody in Blogland have acupuncture stories they want to share? Extra points if it’s in haiku form.

10,000! past ten thousand mark

10,000!

past ten thousand mark
may not seem like much, but shucks
I still feel real proud

Not sure why the haiku turned into this weird backwoods Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel talk, but maybe I revert to my southern roots when I’m misty.

My stat counter just rolled over to 10,098 unique visitors. Sure, it’s taken since last March to reach this lofty goal, but I still think that’s pretty darn cool. So, thanks, Unique Visitors. Especially all 10,096 of you who found the site searching for “fauxhawk.” Glad I could be of service. To the other two of you… that’s right, the ones searching for “fack feet sex party”… sorry to disappoint you.